After a long week of playing piano and attending school, junior Margot Bartol looks forward to spending every Saturday night at BBYO. Bartol has been involved with the Jewish Youth Organization for four years and was recently elected to the position of Council N’siah, which directly translates to president of the Greater Washington, D.C., area of BBYO.
Bartol first got involved in BBYO in the beginning of eighth grade, when her sister Sasha, class of 2014, got her to come to her first BBYO event. “I started going to events because my sister was in it and seemed to love it,” Bartol said. “So, I thought it would be something fun to do as well.”
Although BBYO is often looked at as a social organization for Jewish teens, it is much more than that. Through BBYO, teens are given a unique opportunity to expand their leadership skills by running for executive boards of their chapters and council, as well as planning programs every week for their chapter. “Prior to being elected council president, I served as multiple chapter board positions including chapter president,” Bartol said. “In addition to that, I was also Council Sh’licha, which is the position of vice president of social action, community service and Judaism.”
Next year, Bartol will be in charge of running the largest Council of BBYO in the nation, standing at about 1,300 members strong, alongside her male counterpart. The position of D.C. Council N’siah (president) holds many responsibilities. Bartol will be in charge of overseeing a group of six girls who all specialize in one certain aspect of the council, whether it be programming, judaism or communications. In addition to that, she will work with the presidents of each chapter and BBYO staff to create new initiatives within the council and oversee the well-being of the Council as a whole. Lastly, she will be working closely with the friends and alumni network, which is “a board of adults who help the Council do what it does, basically, including donors and parents,” Bartol said.
But, most importantly, Bartol will serve to be a face of the region to the international order of BBYO.
In addition to being Council N’siah, Bartol is also a competitive pianist, and has played multiple venues including Carnegie Hall in New York and Ehbar Hall in Vienna, Austria. “I’ve always been a person who liked to keep themselves busy and high school has been no exception,” Bartol said. “Along with BBYO and piano, I am a part of class planning as well as other clubs, and take what most would consider really difficult classes.”
The key to her success: balance. Bartol said that balancing everything she does can get stressful, but she manages it with prioritization. “I schedule my time meticulously when I get busy,” she said. “I really do care about all the things I do, so it’s just all about balance.”
When not at school, BBYO or playing piano, Bartol likes to spend her time relaxing with her cats or hanging out with friends. “I really owe my friends to BBYO,” Bartol said. “I have met my best friends there who make me the person I am today.”